VA loans

Are You Ready For A VA Home Loan? VA Loan Basics

April 23, 2014

Are You Ready For A VA Home Loan? VA Loan Basics

105-logoIf you’re new to the VA loan program and are considering the purchase of a new home with your VA benefits, there are several questions that are good to ask yourself as you get ready for the planning process. Below are the VA loan basics – asking these questions early is the best way to get ready for a VA mortgage.

1. Have I given myself enough planning time?

This is key–common advice from experts in financial planning includes giving yourself a minimum of one year prior to the actual loan application to prepare for the loan. Why so long? Saving up for closing costs, appraisal fees, flood zone determination where necessary, and other expenses can take time. But there are other important reasons related to the questions you should be asking yourself when prepping for the loan. See the next two questions below and you’ll soon realize why more planning time is better.

2. Have I checked my credit reports?

Pulling your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies can take a bit of time, but correcting or challenging information on those reports can take even longer if necessary. You may need many months to correct the information on your credit report, but it can also take time for the corrected data to appear in the databases of the agencies once the fixes have been made.

3. Have I put enough time between my last missed or late payment and my loan application?

You should have at least 12 months of solid, dependable bill paying on your record before you apply for a VA mortgage loan. This gives you a much better chance at loan approval because the lender will see a pattern of financial responsibility that makes you a good candidate for the loan.

4. Do I have too much debt?

If you are carrying a lot of debt, reducing the debt to income ratio can help strengthen your VA loan application. Reduce or eliminate as much debt as possible prior to your VA loan application and don’t open any new major lines of credit just before you apply.

The answers to these questions can go a long way toward helping you decide if you’re ready for a new purchase VA home loan or if you should take some additional time to prepare for that loan.

Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.

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